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Republican Party

Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., speaks with the media after testifying before the Senate Law and Justice Committee about Green River serial killer Gary Ridgway on Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, in Olympia, Wash.
AP Photo/Rachel La Corte

Democrats are drooling over a Washington state congressional seat that’s always been in Republican hands. 

Republican political consultant Chris Vance says he knows why: "Donald Trump is unbelievably unpopular," Vance said. "His approval ratings are down to 34 percent, and he's taking down the entire Republican Party with him."

By day, Don McGahn is a straight-laced lawyer, but by night, he's a long-haired rocker.

Several decades ago, Evan Nodvin's life probably would have looked quite different.

Nodvin has his own apartment just outside Atlanta, in Sandy Springs, Ga., which he shares with a roommate, and a job at a local community fitness center. He also has Down syndrome.

"I give out towels, and put weights away, and make sure people are safe," the 38-year-old says.

To get to and from work, Nodvin relies on rides from people who are hired to help him. He also has a counselor to help him do daily chores like grocery shopping, cleaning and cooking.

Updated at 4:55 a.m. ET

Republican Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana's lone congressional seat on Thursday despite an election eve misdemeanor assault charge for allegedly body-slamming a reporter.

When President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska was one of several Republicans in Washington voicing concern. As details unfolded throughout the week, Sasse, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, continued to call the timing of the firing "troubling," though he maintains there is not yet a need for an independent investigation or special prosecutor to look into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Author Thomas Frank made his mark on the book world by taking Republicans to task for the state of the nation. Last year, well before Donald Trump’s presidential win, Frank shifted his gaze to the Democrats. He didn’t like what he saw there, either.

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Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters

The Trump White House has doubled down on its demand that a government spending bill include $1.4 billion for a wall on the US-Mexico border. 

But a determined group of US lawmakers is prepared to stand in the president's way.

Congress returns Tuesday from its spring recess, facing yet another down-to-the-wire spate of deal-making — and a White House anxious to claim its first major legislative win.

On Friday night, the funding measure lawmakers approved last year to keep the federal government running will expire. The timing leaves members of the House and Senate just four days to reach a new agreement to fund the government, or risk a partial shutdown of federal agencies on Saturday — the 100th day of Donald Trump's presidency.

Officials at the University of California, Berkeley reversed an earlier decision to cancel the scheduled appearance of conservative commentator Ann Coulter on April 27. They proposed an alternate May 2 date after Coulter vowed to show up on campus anyway.

A special election in Kansas on Tuesday has Republicans sounding worried about an enthusiasm gap in the Trump era.

Trump himself was apparently worried enough that he cut a robo call for Republican state party Treasurer Ron Estes.

The Affordable Care Act's worst enemies are now in charge of the vast range of health coverage the law created. They're also discussing changes that could affect a wider net of employment-based policies and Medicare coverage for seniors.

Although Republicans failed last month in their first attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Donald Trump vows the effort will continue. And even if Congress does nothing, Trump has suggested he might sit by and "let Obamacare explode."

Thursday is the day the judicial filibuster in the Senate is scheduled to die. There hasn't been much of an effort to save it, but there have been a lot of lamentations for the slow demise of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (WGDB), otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.

Here are five insights into what the death of the judicial filibuster means:

1. The winners and losers

"This is the chance. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the speaker, roving the stage with a wireless mic, gesturing at both the audience in front of him and the PowerPoint presentation behind him.

TED Talk? Late-night infomercial? Nope — it was House Speaker Paul Ryan, making a hard pitch for his health care plan after a week of loud conservative criticism.

It took a lot to get to this point, but Republicans have released their long-awaited health care bill. (For more on the policy, check out the NPR health team's reporting over at Shots.)

The version that was released is likely to change as the bill goes through committees, but now that it's released, here are four potential challenges President Trump and Republicans face:

1. Health care is complicated

After years of waiting, it's finally here.

In recent days, several Republican lawmakers have faced crowds of constituents at town hall meetings around the country who are angry that they may be in danger of losing their health coverage.

Republican members of Congress aren't exactly getting a warm welcome in their home districts during this week's recess.

Washington's Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers has weighed in on the Trump administration’s executive order that bans immigrants and refugees from entering the U.S..

Video: This Is What Trump's EPA Looks Like So Far

Jan 30, 2017

Since taking office, on Jan. 20 President Donald Trump's administration has done a lot to shake things up at the Environmental Protection Agency. His nominee to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, could be up for a confirmation vote as soon as Wednesday.

Get caught up on the big picture in 100 seconds with this explainer video by OPB's John Rosman and KCTS/EarthFix's Ken Christensen.

Washington Democrats chair Jaxon Ravens faces challengers from within the party.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

Democrats and Republicans in Washington state will vote on their parties’ leadership this weekend.

And the differences are stark.


House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will — once again — vote to cut off federal tax dollars for Planned Parenthood. They are planning to include the measure as part of a bigger upcoming bill to repeal pillars of Obamacare. This isn't the first time that they have tried to pass this type of legislation — President Obama vetoed a similar bill last January.

Spokane Republican Cathy McMorris Rodgers says the current Republican health care bill is only part of a larger plan.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e4kQ16

Washington state Republicans split over their party's move Monday night to weaken Congress's only independent ethics watchdog. House Republicans quickly abandoned the move in an emergency meeting the next morning after a firestorm of criticism.


Lawmakers returned to Washington and wasted no time getting to work on the repeal of Obamacare.

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a resolution just hours after the new Congress convened Tuesday that will serve as the vehicle for repealing much of the president's signature health care law.

Democrat Germaine Kornegay and Republican Bill Orsborn try to bridge the partisan divide at Gateway Car Clinic and Transmissions in Mount Vernon, Washington
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Germaine Kornegay is the first and only African-American to be elected to the Sedro-Woolley City Council. She was a Hillary Clinton delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. 

Despite this, she’s friends with many Republicans. 

On Jan. 20, 2016, exactly a year before a new president would be sworn into office, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia announced the court's 8-to-1 decision reinstating the death penalty for two Kansas brothers.

It was the last time the 79-year-old Scalia would announce an opinion. Three weeks later, on a hunting trip in Texas, the conservative icon died in his sleep.

Braedon Wilkerson, Olga Farnam and Manis Pierre were all involved with the state GOP this year. Their views on Trump differ widely
KUOW Photo/Kate Walters

Deborah Wang speaks with Washington State Republican Party chair Susan Hutchison. She also speaks with Olga Farnam, Manis Pierre and Braedon Wilkerson. 

This election map is a lie. So we made new ones

Nov 18, 2016
Washington state presidential election results, 2016
KUOW graphic/Abe Epton

Maps lie because they simplify. They  lie in different ways, to show certain realities, and electoral maps are no different.

In places where there are few people, hundreds of square miles turn red or blue (but usually red) because those voters cast their ballots in a certain way.

A lot has changed since election night when it looked like House Democrats were poised to gain two seats and cement their majority. Now fortunes could be changing in favor of Republicans and the Washington state House could be headed for a tie.

The decision to stop calling Washington prison inmates “offenders” is not sitting well with a group of Republican state senators. They’ve written a letter to Secretary of Corrections Dick Morgan challenging the policy change.

Washington state elector Bret Chiafalo
Courtesy of Bret Chiafalo

Thousands of Americans have protested the Trump presidency. But the election isn't completely over.

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